Among the women of Christendom, the bold Teresa of Avila has succeeded in transmitting a profound and enduring record of the nature of spiritual reality and of Christocentric mystical consciousness. Her autobiography, published as The Life of Saint Teresa, was written at the behest of her spiritual directors. She writes with great openness of both her human weaknesses and her extraordinary spiritual attainments.
Teresa was a woman of extremes, as capable of experiencing the rapturous states of physical levitation and luminous vision as of enduring extreme physical pain and mental anguish. She was also a woman of unstoppable drivenness who gently but decisively neutralised the opposition of many - even within her own order - who were hostile to her ideas. Her reforms brought great spiritual renewal to the Carmelite order.
This PDF offers a short review of The Life of Saint Teresa and carries substantive representative excerpts from her text.